The Ocala housing market remained strong in the 4th quarter of 2021. Record-low mortgage interest rates, historically low foreclosure rates, and tight inventory levels have led to a remarkable end of the year. Homes continue to list at robust prices and sell almost immediately at or above asking with similar predictions into 2022. While a source of concern for buyers, the Ocala real estate market is currently an advantage for sellers. This sellers’ market is fueled by scarce existing inventory and a considerably low number of new local listings.
The Impact of Low Mortgage Rates
In November, the Ocala real estate market saw an almost 20% increase year-over-year in closed sales. One of the easiest numbers to compare, closed sales indicate a highly active market as we move into 2022. A major driver of these transactions are historically low mortgage rates. Buying activity is especially strong with Millennials as mortgage payments become affordable. While buyers jump into the market, their excitement may decrease quickly as they become aware of how few homes are available in their price range. Rejected offers, compromises on amenities, and countless showings are what they will likely face right now.
Low Foreclosure Rates
Fourth quarter market statistics point to the lowest inventory of distressed properties listed on the Ocala real estate market in five years. While one indication of this trend is that homeowners have been able to make ends meet during the pandemic, sweeping forbearance arrangements were available through the CARES Act. Another factor of this trend may be unemployment protections offered to workers and business owners helping families remain current on their mortgages. One prediction for 2022 and beyond is that once these program end, a foreclosure crisis may occur thereby increasing the number of distressed properties available on the Ocala real estate market.
Active listings remained scarce through the 4th quarter of 2021. Down 31% from last November, Ocala inventory has fallen to new lows. The benchmark for a balanced market is 5.5 months of inventory with Ocala’s real estate market ending at 1.2 months, resulting in a strong sellers’ advantage. The median sale price of an Ocala home in the 4th quarter measured at $250,000 which is up 28% from last November with an average sale price of $303,000, up 26% from 2020. These statistics tell us sale prices are still very strong coming into 2022 with inventory constraints being a primary factor. Other factors like unemployment, lack of construction workers, and building supply shortages also create headwinds for new construction.
Regardless of the market constraints, buyers are most definitely searching for their next homes. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the work-from-home landscape as many employees are now staying at home and searching for suitable home office space. Workers are also choosing to relocate away from higher costs of living to more cost-effective communities with better amenities. These relocations often come with substantial down payments and the ability to offer more than listed asking prices.
Yes, the Ocala real estate market has made a dramatic shift throughout 2021 but sales are stronger than ever and homeowners are still making their dreams come true. Inventory is predicted to rebuild in 2022 as supply chain issues correct themselves. While the residential real estate market may be uncertain, it’s a great time for single and multi-family investors. If you are considering owning or operating a single family, or multi-family property, make Resolute Property Management your partner. We offer a full-array of property management services in the Ocala, FL area and would love to discuss your personal situation. To learn more schedule an appointment with us today!